Even though many small business owners fail to take computer technology as a serious thing inside their place of business because they usually have a small system, just one problem can have massive consequences. Some of the biggest known businesses, such as Neiman Marcus and even Yahoo, have faced class-action lawsuits recently due to data breach issues. This is definitely not a problem you ever want to deal with as a small business owner.

Unfortunately, a data breach often happens as the result of a malicious software that you have on your computer or device. This software is created by hackers specifically to tap into private information, so you must be able to point out if your business computers are infected. Check out these potential signs of malware or a virus.

1. Your computer is suddenly much slower than usual. - Taking a lot longer to switch pages, open programs, or browse the web will probably first make you think the computer is just lagging because of age, a slow network, or otherwise. However, this can just as easily be a sign that your computer is infected with malicious software. Many malware and virus types latch onto key system operations in order to track processes, which can definitely slow things down. 

2. Common system tools are inaccessible. - In some cases, hackers design malicious software to disable pertinent functions in a computer system, such as system restore or the task manager. This is done as an effort to keep you from removing the malicious software. Because these tools are part of the overall operating system and should be the easiest to access as the administrator, this is not a usual problem. If you try to use system tools and are unable to access them, it is a good sign your computer system is infected. 

3. There is a lag in keystrokes. - You go to enter customer information and every keystroke takes a split second to respond to produce a character on the screen. Unfortunately, this could mean that there is malware on your system that is actually recording keystrokes as they are entered into your system so this information can be relayed to a hidden source. Keystroke-tracking malware is especially dangerous in a business setting; potentially giving hackers access to inputs like customer account numbers, credit card information, and even business account logins. 

Even though spotting an infected system can be tricky, it is best to be on high alert for any differences in operational patterns in your small business. If you suspect that your small business computers are infected with a virus or malware, contact an IT consulting firm, Like NetSpec, for advice. 

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